Distractions Not Associated with Working Memory Impairment in Schizophrenia
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
Cognitive impairment is readily seen in patients with schizophrenia due to deficits in what is known as working memory (WM) capacity. Although this has been known for some time, the exact cause of WM deficit remains poorly understood.
Researchers at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, led by Molly A. Erickson, looked at whether selection attention impairments contributed to capacity development. They used experimental paradigm that assesses the role of selective attention in WM encoding and has been shown to involve the prefrontal cortex and the basal ganglia.
In the first experiment, participants were required to remember the locations of three or five target items (red circles). In another, three target items were accompanied by two distractor items (yellow circles), which participants were instructed to ignore.
People who had schizophrenia showed impairment in being able to locate the target items, though both those with and without schizophrenia showed no difference in their ability to filter the distractors, according to data published in Schizophrenia Bulletin. The same was seen in the second experiment.
“Taken together, these results demonstrate that reduced WM capacity in [people with schizophrenia] is not attributable to a failure of filtering irrelevant distractors,” the researchers concluded.
Distractions Do Not Contribute to Memory Impairment in Those With Schizophrenia
Sign Up for Free e-newsletters
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- Adjunctive Therapies for Bipolar Disorder Show Promise, Need More Evidence
- Improving Performance of Everyday Activities Is Critical in Schizophrenia
- Analysis Finds Lithium Maintenance Most Effective as Monotherapy in Bipolar Disorder
- Web-Based Intervention Targets Parental Behaviors That May Affect Adolescent Anxiety, Depression
- Abnormalities of Cortical Thickness in Bipolar Disorder With Auditory Hallucinations
- The Way to the Head May Be Through the Gut: Probiotics for Depression
- Suicide-Screening Toolkit Can Help Identify Youths at High Risk for Suicide
- Agoraphobia: An Evolving Understanding of Definitions and Treatment
- Parental Pressure to Diet Linked With Long-term Harm in Adolescents
- Does Access to Medical Cannabis Reduce Risk for Opioid Abuse?
- Antidepressants Increase Seizure Risk in Youth and Severely Depressed
- Examining Associations Between Diabetes and Effects on Cognition
- Untreated Depression Common in Women of Childbearing Age
- Incidence of Psychiatric Disorders in Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Effect of Antidepressant Class, Dose on Pediatric Anxiety Disorders